The second trimester of pregnancy is one of the three trimesters, comprising of three months each, of pregnancy. It is the mid-stage of pregnancy, sandwiched by the first and third trimester of pregnancy.
Despite the physical and emotional unpleasantness that surrounds the stages of pregnancy, it is essential that you know the important things to avoid falling into fear of falling pregnant and going through the stages. Of a truth, a human growing in you can be challenging, however, the joy that comes with it cannot be denied.
In this article, we will talk about the trimesters of pregnancy with our focus on the second trimester. We will also look at all the other things – such as the right food and how your body feels, what you should be doing in preparation for putting to bed - in the second trimester of pregnancy.
Trimesters of Pregnancy
Pregnancy is signaled by the cessation of menstrual flow. In humans, pregnancies take about 40 weeks before the child you’ve been bearing in your uterus is introduced to the world. In these 40 weeks, the child grows steadily, adding all the organs of a human where and when they should be. Also, during this growth and developmental, your – that is the mother’s – body undergo changes to accommodate the increasing size of the child.
From the period of conception to parturition, pregnancy is divided into three stages called the trimesters. They are so called because they comprise of three stages and three months in each stage. The trimesters are divided into first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy.
All the stages are characterized by a level of development and growth of the foetus. However, for the sake of this article, we will talk about the second trimester of pregnancy.
The Second Trimester of Pregnancy
The second trimester of pregnancy is the second set of three months (months 4 to 6) during pregnancy. In a weekly count, it starts by week 13 and ends by week 26. During this time, according to some women, they have experienced the easiest three months of their pregnancy duration. Morning sickness comes less frequently till it is totally gone.
In the second trimester of pregnancy, the baby increases in size and consequently, the mother’s baby bump grows bigger. There is usually an improved strength, compared to the first trimester and a drop in the mother’s blood pressure.
What is the Foetus Going through in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy?
The second trimester is the stage of pregnancy when the foetus experiences the most rapid growth. It starts to practice swallowing and sucking by the 14th week, which is the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy. By the 16th week, it starts to move and kick. Its kick gets stronger by the 19th week and by week 22, your baby now has eye brows and his eyes can move behind their eyelids even though they are still closed.
By week 23, your baby’s ears are fully developed and they can respond to sound. This is why when you sing or make a sound, they find amusing, they respond by kicking or moving around in the amniotic sac.
In summary, your baby grows bigger, completes the development of hearing ability, reaction to sound, movement, eye brows, and eye movement behind still closed eyelids.
What does the mother feel during the Second Trimester of Pregnancy?
It should be expected that as the baby increases in size in the uterus, the mother must have a feel of that. In the second trimester of pregnancy, the mother experiences an increase in the size of her belly. This, of course, is due to the increased size of her baby.
The mother also experiences a further increase in size of her breasts in preparation for the final stage of pregnancy and then delivery.
The second trimester of pregnancy for the mother is the time when she needs to change her wardrobe. It is time to swap her tight-fitting clothes for the free-flowing maternity wear for the sake of her and her child’s comfort. She may also need to change her bra as the increase in breasts size may warrant such.
The mother’s belly and breasts size increase aren’t the only change that occurs in the second trimester of pregnancy, some symptoms arise and are peculiar to this stage of pregnancy as well.
Symptoms of Second Trimester Pregnancy
There are signs that accompany the second stage of pregnancy. Due to the increase in the baby’s size and increased influx of hormones, you will experience some level of discomfort and physical changes that you didn’t notice in the first trimester. Some of them are highlighted below.
During pregnancy, your skin produces more melanin – hormone responsible for skin darkening – and this makes your skin get darker in a bid to protect it from damage. During this period, you will also notice that your areola – the dark circle around your nipple – becomes darker, and the linea nigra – the line that stretches from your pubic region to your navel – becomes darker and more visible. You may also have dark patches – chloasma – on your skin.
You might feel dizzy during the second trimester of pregnancy due to the changes your body is undergoing. There is lesser amount of blood flowing to the upper region of your body, meaning your brain may not get as much nutrient and oxygen as it used to.
Dizziness should be dealt with by taking enough fluid and laying down when it comes on. However, if it is persistent, consult your doctor.
Round Ligament Pain
Round ligaments are connective tissues that provide support to the uterus and attaches it to the pubic region. Pain in the round ligaments is one of the pronounced discomforts during pregnancy.
As your baby grows, the uterus stretches to accommodate it and that consequently pulls on the cords which may cause pain. Ordinarily, round ligament is to be expected and shouldn’t be a reason to worry. However, if the pain becomes intensely consistent, call your doctor; it could be a sign of complication.
How to Stay Healthy in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy?
Your health should be important to you every day. However, it should be more important when you have a new life growing inside you. The healthy habits that you have begun with when you found out about your pregnancy should continue.
- Consume lots of water. It will help you fight dizziness that is more pronounced during the second trimester of pregnancy.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, fiber, and protein that contains low fat.
- Exercise your pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises. Exercise other parts of your body as well.
- Don’t skip your medications – like the prenatal vitamins.
- Avoid premature labour by keeping your gum and teeth clean.
- Eat more calories than you used to (at least 300 calories). Remember you’re eating for two, or even three.
The second trimester of pregnancy is a period of relief for some women. It is the time of pregnancy, that lasts from week 14 to week 26, when morning sickness abates and the foetus grows. It is also the period when the mother needs to reconsider her choice of clothes as she also increases in size, especially around the stomach.
Some symptoms are attached to this stage of pregnancy but they are no cause for worry. If you experience any pain out of the ordinary, call your doctor.